“Chasing the Dragon” free film about opiate addicts

    May 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
    Loft Cinema
    3233 E Speedway Blvd
    Tucson, AZ 85716

    Chasing The Dragon

    Monday, MAY 14 AT 7:00PM | free ADMISSION

    Presented by FBI Phoenix Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

    With a post-screening open question and answer forum with local subject matter experts.

    Register by e-mail: PX_OUTREACH@fbi.gov

    Every day, the nation’s law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels—including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—use investigative resources to target the supply side in the war against drugs. But even with numerous law enforcement successes in this area, the demand for drugs continues. And one of the more worrisome trends is a growing epidemic of prescription opiate and heroin abuse, especially among young people.

    Today, in an effort to help educate students and young adults about the dangers of opioid addiction, the FBI and DEA unveiled a documentary called Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., before an audience of educational leaders from the region. The 45-minute film, whose title refers to the never-ending pursuit of the original or ultimate high, features stark first-person accounts told by individuals who have abused opioids or whose children have abused opioids, with tragic consequences.

    Chasing The Dragon

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. About 100 people at The Loft tonight to view this hard hitting movie of real people who were/are addicted to opioids tell about their addition and recovery (if any), also relating stories of deaths by drugs in their families. Disturbing stats were presented: 1 in 5 high school seniors report misusing prescription drugs and 44 people die each day from overdose of prescription painkillers. Panel afterwards were Dr. Richard Carmona (former Surgeon General), Neal Cash, Pres. of Community Partners Inc. , Dr. Lynn Ditmanson, CMO of AZ Rehab Campus and DEA Agent Steve McGriggen. Dr. Carmona said this opioid epidemic is nothing new, Cash said that this is a national emergency, high cost of financial/human loss in drug addictions, more public health approach needed; Dr. Ditmanson grew up in China, knew of opium epidemic there under Mao & their re-education camps of 4 years, is using replacement drug therapy to treat addicts, a chronic disease. DEA agent said that there is high enforcement with seizures of heroin, fentanyl, opioids from Mexican cartels, but prevention with youth is key. Questions from audience were about recognition of medical role in treatment process; which state is worst for addictions, are cities more prone than rural areas; is this addiction just a means to escape the world; how “capture” people into treatment rather than jail w/o affordable insurance; opinion on marijuana as gateway drug to higher additions; how long does treatment last, and do we really want to cure addiction w/o alternative drugs like Ibogaine from Africa, which has been working? Dr. Carmona spoke of this as a “brain disease” and Dr. Ditmanson said that people need endorphins to get pleasure, and someone else mentioned the pharmaceutical companies making $ on these drugs. Has the War of Drugs worked?

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